Glasgow school parents 'disappointed' after council denies plea for bus

Robroyston parents have expressed their disappointment after the city council said they would not provide a bus for pupils attending high school in Riddrie this August.

The group of Glasgow parents with children at Wallacewell Primary School who will be attending Smithycroft Secondary School met with the director of education, Douglas Hutchinson, yesterday to discuss the need for a bus link.

They have raised concerns about the walk from Robroyston to Riddrie, which is over an hour long, runs through a graveyard and crosses two motorway bridges.

READ MORE: Glasgow parents concerned over pupils walk through graveyard to secondary school

The pupils have been advised that they can use the number 8 service but concerns have also been raised about overcrowding on board, the bus not turning up on time and making kids late for school as a result.

But Glasgow City Council says its transport policy will be applied to the secondary school and is no different from any other across the city.

Alana Muir, who attended the meeting, said: “All we are asking is to make sure our children can safely get to Smithycroft High School.

“There is only one bus, the number 8 that goes from Asda in Robroyston to the catchment high school. It is overcrowded and this is only going to get worse due to the growth of Robroyston.

“The bus is not just full with school kids but members of the public who are also needing to use it. The walk route is not safe for the kids to walk as we as parents have done a walk through and there were many points brought up on our walk that were deemed unsafe.

“All we want is a bus that is not overcrowded and is able to pick up all the kids and that doesn't require them to walk 1.5 miles to get to the nearest stop.”

Chloe Porter, a worried parent, said she felt “completely let down and disappointed” by the council’s response.

She added: “Depending on where in Robroyston you live, children are facing a 25-minute walk to the nearest bus stop to then wait for an unreliable, potentially overcrowded bus, in all weathers.

“If on time, it will get them near the school 10-minutes before 9am. How is this the best outcome for all children to spend an hour travelling to and from school?

“This year there are more children than ever going to Smithycroft and the council has not planned for these numbers.”

The local authority says there are too few people eligible to justify putting on a bus service but they are looking at other supports for the young people who do meet the transport criteria.

A council spokeswoman said: “Officers had a very productive meeting with families and their concerns were discussed.

“Our transport policy will be applied to all young people attending secondary school and the process is no different from any other school across the city.

“The policy is based on distance eligibility for free school transport and officers will work with the young people in this situation.”

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